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To what opening did I then look for strength and comfort? What ray shone, and shone through the gloom of sickness and pain, and grew brighter as I gazed, and lent a radiance to the dark curtain which seemed rising between me and eternity ?. It was Unitarian Christianity. I leaned my whole soul on the mercy of God as declared in Christ Jesus. I felt how beautiful was the paternal character of the Deity, I felt that I should go to him as to a Father. I felt that he
would forgive my sins, and heal my diseases. For sorI had · learned of Christ.'
What became then, in my imagination, of the pang of death? It would be, I said, a mere transition to joy and glory. But how could I sustain the wrench of earthly affection, the severing of those tight fond clasps that had for years been winding about the heart of a wife and mother? And that pang, I said, is momentary. I scarcely give a thought to those dear connexions now, except for eternity. I can do so little for them, and God so much, 1 give them up to him. May they live and may I die so religiously that our meeting shall be as God's children.
Many were the bright pictures of future joy indefinite, but lovely, which I drew from God's goodness. An angry God! I could not think of such a being ! He had never shown anger to me, but I had heard the voice of his love calling to me from infancy in the fair works of nature, in the beatings of a heart full of hope, and in the revelations of Jesus.
In childhood I had felt a pure joy in gazing on the
blue sky, in hearing the rustling leaves, in tracing the motion of a rivulet, in baring my face to the fresh wind, and breathing strongly new existence. Could I fancy God was angry? But the tempest rose, the stream was ruffled, the snow drift came. Was he angry then? An angry God would not have given me So sweet a shelter as home afforded, with its bright hearth, and quiet smiles.
In childhood I had enjoyed a mother's fondness. I was allowed to fall asleep nightly on her knee, when shame almost made me wakeful. God gave her to me in love. She died. Did I think he was angry, when I saw her rigid, and cold, not noticing even me? Was he angry when he allowed them to lay her in her narrow bed, and shut out her youngest born ? No-I flew to other friends, and though the petted child had no longer such soft indulgence, her errors were corrected, and she learned to know her own heart. Often have I felt since, that God then showed his love to me. I grew older, and I sinned. Was he angry then? I know not; but I think a pitying God was present to my mind, when in the agony, which early sin first feels, I fell on my knees and repented. When the sensibility of youth was departing, I again, and often strayed from Him. Did I find him angry, when I opened his holy word as a sinner? I found entreaty, love, promises of pardon; but little did I see of that feeling, which man
And when the gloomy apparatus of death scemed arranging itself about me, and fever scorched, and pain
subdued me, was God angry? Least of all, then. I felt that Jesus was preparing a place for me in one of his father's many mansions, and I tried to put on the garments of a happy traveller, to fit me for the journey.
One thing pressed on my mind. I waited some days for a decisive sympton of dissolution to disclose it. I intended to have requested one or two persons, who had spoken, written, and preached with severity against the doctrine of the simple unity of God, and particularly against its supporters, to be sent for to visit
I wished to state to them my religious impressions, and my joyful hope of heaven. I wished to tell them, that this hope was the result of years of thought and practice, founded on Unitarian principles, and that no merely sudden enthusiasm placed me on that height, where the fear of death was lost in the hope of glory.' I wished to convince them, that they had deceived themselves, and I purposed to request them publicly to retract the declaration, that Unitarianism was not a religion to die by.
These days of awful expectation slowly passed away. My burning forehead grew cooler under the band of love, and I felt the soft strings of reviving existence pulling at my heart.
Since that period, a serene thought of death, and a readiness to depart and be with Christ, convinces me that the Spirit of God, not in anger, but in happy trust, has settled on my soul. And if such is the result, as I sincerely believe it to be, of religious feeling founded on Unitarianism, I ask those, who slight Christianity, if it is not worth the effort, while the day of health is theirs, to study the character of our master, and through him the Deity. Let them not hope, that unless they prepare and purify the atmosphere of their souls, the sun of righteousness will shine on them with effectual brightness. They may have pardon, because God is love, but they will lose deep, deep happiness, in meditating on the hope of his presence and nearer likeness.
CHARLESTON, s. C.
MR. YOUNG'S DISCOURSE.
CHRISTIANITY DESIGNED AND ADAPTED TO BE A UNIVERSAL RELIGION. A Discourse delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. J. W. Thompson, as Pastor of the South Congregational Society, in Natick, Feb. 17, 1830. By Alexander Young, Minister of the Church on Church Green, Boston. Boston, Gray & Bowen.
This is a well written and eloquent discourse, abounding in correct thought, and appropriate and striking illustrations. We shall not attempt any analysis of its contents.' Those of our readers, who have not had opportunity of perusing it, will be able to form some opinion of the author's style from the following
Christianity is adapted to become a universal religion, because it appeals immediately to the noblest part of our nature, and addresses man in his high capacity of an intelligent and rational being. Other religions have appealed to the lower and weaker principles of his nature; to his senses; to his love of the marvellous; to his fondness for show and parade; and hence secret rites and mysteries, imposing ceremonies and gorgeous spectacles, have, in all ages and countries, constituted their principal and most attractive elements. But Christianity, being purely an intellectual and moral system, addresses itself to the understanding and the heart. It presents to man views of God, of duty, and of futurity, most sublime and comprehensive, and calls upon him to employ on them his highest faculties. It does not command him to prostrate his reason before an unintelligible and mystical creed, but submits all its pretensions and doctrines to scrutiny and proof. Its spirit is the spirit of liberal inquiry and free discussion. The consequence has been, that in every age it has exercised and enlarged and strengluened the human mind, and that the Christians of every period, from the introduction of the gospel to the present time, have been the foremost, and the most successful in cultivating the intellect, and enlarging the dominion of knowledge. The Fathers of the church were many of them men of learning, and of deep and vigorous thought. Witness their Apologies in behalf of their adopted faith. When, too, an intellectual darkness shadowed the earth for ages, the little light that glimmered through the gloom, shone through the lattice of the cloister. The monastic institution was the great